Tonight I took a three-second ride on a hand-held bolt of lightning known as the Taser® X26. Three seconds is nothing. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi. Done. Barely enough time to read these sentences. It’s no time at all unless it is counted off while 50,000 volts of electricity are coursing through your body.
According to their web site, the Taser® X26 is the most popular electronic control devise used by law enforcement today. Its chunky, pistol-shaped plastic housing is designed to be aimed and shot like a hand gun. The standard model includes a laser site and a flashlight and a cartridge of compressed nitrogen that can spit two barrel-shaped, barbed probes up to thirty-five feet. The probes remain attached to the weapon by fish line-like filaments that aren’t strong enough to land a respectable Wisconsin Bluegill, but will have a human being flopping on the deck in… well, in three seconds.
The pain is unique. I know a little bit about pain. I misspent my youth as a clumsy tom boy and a large chunk of my adulthood in the martial arts. At differing times and places I’ve broken my right wrist, middle finger, middle finger knuckle, and thumb; my right ankle, two toes on my left foot (twice), my nose (twice, once with nun chucks), and had two screws removed from the end of my right femur without the benefit of anesthetic.
If you’ve ever been shocked by static electricity, an electric fence or a bad cord connected to a kitchen appliance that’s a place to start. Imagine shuffling through an acre of shag carpet and backing into a stop sign-sized door knob. You’re getting closer. Couple the full-body shock with full-body muscle clench and hold that pose while you count, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi.” Three seconds can last forever.